A friend of mine sent an e-mail regarding Andrea Rossi to the United States Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, in late October. Of course Secretary Chu did not respond but a couple of his underlings did. Some of the responses are what one would expect from the Department of Energy but some were a little surprising. For example, DOE official Albert L. Opdenaker III states that he has spoken with NASA’s Dennis Bushnell about LENR in general and Andrea Rossi and the e-Cat in particular. He reports that Mr. Bushnell told him what has been reported in other forums, namely that LENR IS REAL. Curiously, Mr. Opdenaker states that he was told by Mr. Bushnell that it would take another “10-20 years of work to engineer Rossi’s ideas for performance.” That would seem to conflict with Mr. Bushnell’s public statement in April when he stated “So I think this will go forward fairly rapidly now… I am not sure in which parallel world something moving forward rapidly takes 10-20 years but, then again, I have never lived in Washington, D.C. Well, actually, that is not true. I did live there as a child but my parents moved me back to the real world before I internalized such interesting concepts as moving forward rapidly could take two decades or that having 20 paid lobbyists for every elected representative is perfectly appropriate in a democracy.
Mr. Opdenaker also suggested to my friend that if the Department of Energy were to review “cold fusion” again, which they previously reviewed in 1989 and 2004, “it is possible that a different outcome would result” and “perhaps the thing to do is to go out and buy a whole boatload of nickel futures!” He also assured my friend that “I have been talking to people about what I have heard and what I know, but I am not able to arouse any interest in this subject at all. I will keep trying to spread the word and get people here to take notice of this significant development.”
Being the trusting person I am, I will take Mr. Opdenaker at his word and I honestly believe that he is walking around the United States Department of Energy crowing like a rooster about the revolutionary benefits of LENR, ignoring the snickers and ridicule of his bosses and coworkers all the while. But, after a long holiday season away from the office, I am concerned that he may forget the message. Luckily the correspondence with my friend (see below) does include both his e-mail address and phone number and perhaps we all need to call him or write him after the holidays and remind him to keep on task. He also apparently has a very dutiful underling, a Shahida Afzal, who was kind enough to instruct my friend on how to use Google. His e-mail is also included in the aforementioned correspondence and we should probably all remind him to remind Mr. Opdenaker to continue preaching the LENR Gospel at the Department of Energy.
No, none of this is the Plan X that Tom Baccei spoke about in his Bad JuJu piece. He is still dutifully crafting his plan and it should be available for your perusal sometime this week. My suggestions are just simple things people can do to stay engaged in the process. If there is anything I have learned from the pathoskeps over the past year is that intellectual and well-reasoned arguments are not really necessary to get your point across, and that annoying repetition can be effective. As the saying goes, “it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.” If you make no other resolution this coming year, make sure you resolve to squeak a little this year for what you believe in.
Please note that my friend requested that his name not be plastered all over the Internet, so his name has been removed from these e-mails. I am certain that Mr. Opdenaker and Mr. Afzal are aware of have a record of who this correspondence is from. Their names being plastered all over the Internet is okay because they are public servants.
From: Afzal, Shahida [e-mail Shahida Afazal] On Behalf Of Opdenaker, Albert
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 9:59 AM
To: Mr. X
Dear Mr. X:
I have been asked to respond to your e-mail message to Secretary Chu dated October 27, 2011 in which you ask where you can find information about the work being done by Andrea Rossi of the University of Bologna. The way I would recommend that you proceed to get information about the E-Cat device that has been designed and is being tested by Mr. Rossi is to go to the Google site (https://www.google.com/) on the Internet using your computer, enter “Andrea Rossi, E-Cat Device” into the search bar, and click “Enter.” You will be given many, many sites that you can explore dealing with the topics that you mention in your message.
Albert L. Opdenaker III
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
Office of Science
US Department of Energy
From: Mr. X
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 12:15 PM
To: Opdenaker, Albert
Subject: RE: LENR
Dear Mr. Opdenaker III,
Thank you for your replying to my message. I apologize because I believe my question was not clear enough.
I have been following Andrea Rossi invention for the last two years and I am pretty aware of the scope of his invention. This new type of energy will be replacing other types of energies like oil, gas, and electricity which means a big change all over the world and probably the end of the oil dependency.
My questions are: What is the US Department of Energy doing to help the American people with the development of this new product? What is the official position of the USA in Cold Fusion?
PD: Thank you for the Google instructions, It is good to know that someone in the Department of Energy knows how to use it.
From: Opdenaker, Albert [mailto:Albert.Opdenaker@science.doe.gov]
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2011 2:53 PM
To: Mr. X
Subject: RE: LENR
Dear Mr. X:
If I offended you by seeming to be talking down to you, I sincerely apologize. I assure you that was not my intention. I honestly thought you were asking how you could learn more about the E-cat device. My experience is that few of the people who write to us asking about Rossi have not really learned very much about what he is doing so I was just trying to tell you how to learn more. I am glad to hear that you have been following him and his work for two years. I just learned about his work a couple of months ago, because, as you know, the mainstream media has not really been reporting on the E-cat device. I was surprised when I came across some reports on the internet recently.
So let me try to answer your real question, but I will tell you from the start you will not like what I have to say. I believe that I am correct in saying that the only official position taken by the Department with regards to “cold fusion” was expressed in the reports of the two peer review panels that were charged to review that subject in 1989 and 2004. I have attached a short summary of the results of those two reviews even though I am fairly certain that you already know what the answer is.
I have to admit that much has happened in the field even since the 2004 review was held, and, if another review were held today, it is possible that a different outcome would result. I do not pretend to speak for the whole Department or even for a small part of it. I can tell you that until I started being assigned to answer questions like the one that you sent to Secretary Chu, I had no idea that things had been changing so much and so quickly in this field. Even after I started doing some poking around to see what was happening with Rossi and friends, I was not too sure about the results being reported. My change of mind was a direct result of talking with Dr. Dennis Bushnell, the Chief Scientist for NASA Langley who has assured me that over 100 experiments worldwide indicate that LENR is real, capable of producing energy much greater that chemical reactions, with minimal radiation, that theories indicate that what is happening is weak interactions, beta decay and NOT fusion of any kind. Frankly, it does not seem to me to matter what we call it if it works and Bushnell says it does work. He believes that the Rossi demonstrations suggest that LENR may produce “useful” quantities of heat, and what is needed is 10-20 years of work to engineer Rossi’s ideas for performance.
However, if Rossi has already sold more than 10 of the 1 Mw plants as I am reading on the net, and it turns out that the plants work, and Rossi’s customers are happy with them, I do not think that the DOE needs to get into the mix to convince people to buy a product that others have already bought and are wildly happy with. It is just a matter of a short wait to see what is going to happen.
I have to admit that I am a bit worried by the old statement that if is seems too good to be true then it most likely is too good to be true. The E-cat seems to fall into this category. I am going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that this is going to work and solve our energy and global climate problems. Perhaps the thing to do is to go out and buy a whole boatload of nickel futures!
I am unable to tell you when the DOE is going to take note of this development. As of today, as far as I can tell, few people at DOE are aware of what is going on. I have been talking to people about what I have heard and what I know, but I am not able to arouse any interest in this subject at all. I will keep trying to spread the word and get people here to take notice of this significant development.
I hope that you too will try to spread the word about this happening!
Fusion Energy Sciences
Office of Science
US Department of Energy
[e-mail Albert Opdenaker]
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